Summer Recreation

For a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, summers in Hayden are legendary. From bird watching and horseback riding to water sports and trail adventures, there are plenty of ways to make the most of the longest and warmest days of the year.


From leisurely walking trails to adventurous climbs, Hayden has a hiking trail for everyone. Check out these local attractions for the best places to run, hike and bike.



Easy access to the Yampa River makes Hayden a world-class fishing destination without the crowds.


Water Sports

From rafting to jet skiing, Hayden has the perfect places to beat the summer heat while enjoying your favorite water sport. Elkhead Reservoir—a 900 acre lake 16 miles northwest of Hayden—accommodates a variety of water sports, including water skiing, jet skiing and boating. Kayakers, tubers and rafters can enjoy some beautiful stretches of the Yampa River, with multiple access points right outside of town.



Hayden is one of the top bird watching sites in Colorado due to the diversity of habitats, ranging from forested areas along the Yampa River to agricultural fields and even wetlands.

The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch, Yampa River Preserve and Yampa River State Park are all homes to amazing bird life. The Yampa Valley Crane Festival and local birding club are great places to get involved in the birding community. 



Hayden is an appealing headquarters for hunters and fishermen from across the county. The regional elk herds are healthy and abundant as well as being economically important to northwest Colorado. The area also is known for hunting mule deer and pronghorn antelope as well as some hunting for black bear and mountain lion.